The true origins of Riesling remain a mystery. Some believe it is a varietal mentioned long ago by the Roman writer Plinius, others feel King Louis the German (843–876) was the first to have had the grape planted in the Rhine Valley. Other experts suspect that Riesling is a mutation of a wild vine of Germanic origin.
In a viticultural dictionary from 1930, Riesling is briefly defined as “Origin: Germany. Probably a seedling from the Rheingau” Trendsetter for the advance of Riesling in the Rheingau was the wine estate at Johannisberg. In 1720, some 294,000 Riesling vines were planted in the vineyards of the old Benedictine abbey. This was such a novelty that cellarmaster Odo Staab made note of it: “In the entire Rheingau, only the grape variety ‘Rüssling’ can be planted for the production of wine”.
In 1775, the benefits of a “Spätlese” (late harvest) were first recognized at the Johannisberg monastery. The year marked the beginning of a deliberately scheduled late harvest of botrytized grapes that yield the lusciously sweet Rieslings that led to the grape’s fame and image throughout Europe. They graced the tables of every royal house, from kings to emperors to czars. Together with the great white and red Pinots of Burgundy and red wines of Bordeaux, Riesling was part of the quartet of the most famous and most expensive wines at the start of the 20th century. To this day, in many wine-growing regions of the New World, the name “Johannis-berger” is synonymous with Riesling.
Colour : Pale lemon
Aroma : Lemon, lime, minerals, honey
Taste : Bone dry, sharp lemon, minerals, honey
Alcohol : 12.5%
Price : 13,50 Euro (Eurotrade Flughafen Muenchen Duty Free 2011-05-20)
Website : Schloss Johannisberg